Delta utility bills to rise once again in 2020

It’s mostly due to spiraling costs by Metro Vancouver.

That’s the message Delta council tried to make clear during its discussion Monday that saw civic politicians grant preliminary approval for the city’s latest utility bill increase.

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The hike to the flat rate bill will total of $40, from $1,090 for a single-family home in 2019 to $1,130 in 2020.

Last year the utility bill increased by $30 and the year before that it went up by $25.

The staff report notes regional water and sewer costs have increased by six per cent and 11 .6 per cent, respectively, combining for a $32 increase to the regional portion of the flat rate utility bill.

The flat water rate for a single-family home will increase by $13, from $556 in 2019 to $569 in 2020. Over 90 per cent of the increase is to cover the cost of water services provided by Metro Vancouver.

Coun. Lois Jackson noted Metro’s five-year financial plan has total operating expenses for water rising from $290 million today to $439 million by 2024. She described the rising cost as “alarming.”

The significant increases to the regional cost of water in recent years are a result of regional capital water quality initiatives, including the Seymour-Capilano filtration project and the associated twin tunnel project between Capilano and Seymour lakes.

City manager Sean McGill agreed that a breakdown of where the increases are coming from be included in the utility bill mail-out.

As far as the sewer rate for a single-family home, it is to increase by $20, from $346 in 2019 to $366 in 2020, due to debt servicing costs related to large capital programs by Metro Vancouver.

The cost for garbage, yard waste, green waste and recyclable collection will increase by $7, from $188 in 2019 to $195 in 2020.

The remaining $1 increase covers other Delta costs.

The utility bills will be mailed out in February.

Staff still has to bring forward the proposed property tax rate increase for 2020.

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